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Teacher Bios

Strings Program Teachers & Students - Latino Arts

Dinorah Márquez, Latino Arts InstructorDinorah Márquez | Director, Latino Arts Strings Program & Mariachi Juvenil; Violin/Viola Instructor

Dinorah Márquez was born in Mexico City. At the age of 10, she immigrated with her family to El Paso, Texas, where she began her musical studies with violinists James Angerstein and Abraham Chavez. Marquez completed her undergraduate studies in American Studies, at Northwestern University, with a minor in International Studies at the University of Florence, Italy. She later worked as Assistant Press Secretary for Mayor Harold Washington in the City of Chicago. After several years, she returned to her musical activities both in the U.S. and Mexico, where she was a guest performer with the Filarmónica del Bajío in Guanajuato, the Orquesta de Mexico in Mexico City, and the Camerata del Estado de Veracruz.

Marquez founded an ethnomusicology project, which continues to this day. It focuses on the preservation of indigenous violin traditions in Xico, Veracruz, Mexico. She received a master's degree in Viola Performance and String Pedagogy from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also received a Certificate in Chamber Music from the Leonard Sorkin International Institute of Chamber Music where she studied with the members of the Fine Arts Quartet.

Upon graduation, Marquez established the national award winning Latino Arts Strings Program (LASP). The LASP has given her the opportunity to provide immigrant Latino children with the type of musical training she received as an immigrant child. Learn more about the awards and recognition received by Marquez and the LASP.

Trischa Loebl, Latino Arts InstructorTrisCha Loebl | Cello & Piano Instructor

Trischa Loebl holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello and Piano Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University. Her principal cello teachers are Parry Karp, Alan Harris, and Uri Vardi. Loebl has been with the LASP as cello instructor since 2006. Dhe had previously taught at the String Academy of Wisconsin at UW-Milwaukee for 16 years. Her students have won many competitions and have played as concerto soloists and recital soloists, including at the Racine Symphony Solo Competition and the Wisconsin Cello Society Solo Competition. An active performer, Loebl plays in the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Bel Canto Chamber Orchestra, and sits as principal cello of the Waukesha Symphony. In 2014, Loebl was awarded the “Excellence in Youth Music Education” award by the Civic Music Association.

Alberto Cardenas, Latino Arts InstructorAlberto Cardenas | Folk Guitars, Vihuela, & Guitarron

Alberto Cardenas was born in Zamora, Michoacán, Mexico. Cardenas comes from a family of musicians, his grandfather was a band leader and his mother and aunts had a group known as “Las Hermanitas.” He began his guitar studies at the age of 12 and studied with Cadena y Duarte and with Roberto Martinez. He began a Mexican musical ensemble known as a “Rondalla” in 1976, and in 1979 he entered the Music Conservatory Las Rosas in Morelia, Michoacán. After a few years he began to work with the Mexican trio genre and in 1989 he moved to Los Angeles where he studied flamenco guitar with Cornelio Ramos, and participated in various musical groups in East L.A. In 1992, he moved to Milwaukee and began working with the Mariachi genre. Since 1994, he has directed various ensembles, including, Raíces Mexicanas, Mi Tierra, Trío México, and Trío Alma Latina. Currently he directs and performs with Voces y Cuerdas de Mexico, a quartet that includes violin, vihuela, guitar, and guitarron.

Jone Ruiz, Latino Arts InstructorJone Alan Ruiz | Classical Guitar

Jone Ruiz was born in Puerto Rico and began his studies in the Interamerican University where he holds a bachelor's degree in classical guitar and studied with the distinguished classical guitarist Linda Chellouf. In 2010 he participated in a national interchange program through the Complutense University in Madrid where he had the opportunity to take classes in music education and private guitar lessons with Professor Demetrio Ballesteros in Ajofrin, Toledo. He has also studied in master classes with some of the world's leading guitarist including, Jorge Caballero, Ana Vidovic, Martha Masters, Thomas Kirchhoff, Adam Holzman, Jose Antonio Escobar, Valerie Hartzell, Berta Rojas, and Steve Lin, among many others. He has performed nationally and has participated in different festivals and competitions around the United States. Ruiz received a master's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he studied with world renowned guitarist, Rene Izquierdo.

Alonso Ibarra | Violin/Viola Instructor

Alonso Ibarra and his family moved from Mexico City to Milwaukee when he was five years old, and shortly thereafter he began taking violin lessons, and would later take up viola at the age of 18. Ibarra was a member of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra for eight years, and he still continues to be an active chamber and symphony musician with the Falls Baptist Chamber Strings and Symphony Orchestra, who won a performance position at the Mid-West Clinic in Chicago in 2010. Recently, the Chamber Strings have gained national recognition as the chamber ensemble for Governor Scott Walker, having performed several times at his executive residence and at his 2014 inauguration in Madison, Wisconsin. In the summer of 2013, Ibarra was part of the music promotional quartet for his college and gave musical performances throughout the West Coast and in his native Mexico.

Ibarra has been coached by several leading pedagogues and performers including Mimi Zweig, Richard Hynson (Bel Canto Chorus), Sarah Kapustin, among others. He has been actively involved in the community as a violin teacher at Waukesha String Academy and Falls Baptist Music School. His passion is investing in young student's lives in order to see them become confident, compassionate, and community leaders. Currently, he studied violin under Elizabeth Zempel, viola under Jamie Hofman, and conducting under Daniel Van Gelderen.

Cecilio negron jr. | general music Instructor

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Cecilio “Ceeloe” Negrón, Jr., comes from a family of musicians and performers of Puerto Rican descent, whose lineage can be traced to Africa and Spain. Cecilio embarked on his musical studies at the age of five when he attended the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. He continued to study in Nathan Hale’s school music program learning to play drum-set and concert percussion, where he earned top honors in solo state competitions. He began playing professionally by the age of 16, and at the age of 21, he began his solo career, developing himself as a solo artist and educator. In 2000, Cecilio started working with Milwaukee Public Theatre, teaching arts residencies, drumming, and touring with several theatre productions. 

Cecilio is also an accomplished studio recording artist with over a dozen recorded albums.  He has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Puerto Rico. Locally, he performs with many successful bands in a variety of musical genres including De La Buena (which he co-founded), Caché (his fathers’s ensemble), CNJ Latin Jazz, Nwa Na Agbe, Urbanites, Bahia, Kings Go Forth, The Paul Spencer Group, and One Drum. As a Community Drum Facilitator for the past 15 years, Cecilio curates and manages his own multi-cultural musical ensembles, drumming workshops, drum circles, and a variety of community drumming activities. He also teaches general music for 2nd graders at Bruce Guadalupe Community School and 6th graders at Acosta Middle School, where he established Ritmos y Raices, a student performing ensemble.

gabriela moreno. | violin/viola instructor

Gabriela Moreno is a graduate of the Latino Arts Strings Program. She began playing the violin at the age of 7 at the United Community Center in 2003. Gabriela is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a minor in Business. She was one of the first students from the LASP to attend college and declare a degree in music. Through her experiences, she was also able to help pave the way for upcoming LASP graduates who continue to nurture each other to preserve their roots in places outside of UCC. Now, she is part of the LASP team, where she is starting a new generation of beginning violin students and helping promote heritage education through General Music.

Megan buschkopf | violin/viola instructor

Megan Buschkopf began her violin studies at the String Academy of Wisconsin as a student of Susan Dominguez and Elizabeth Pabon. She continued her studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee under the guidance of Dr. Myron Kartman and Dr. Bernard Zinck, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance and Master’s degrees in String Pedagogy as well as Chamber Music Performance. During her time as a graduate student, she performed extensively as a member of the Leonard Sorkin International Institute of Chamber Music, receiving coaching and instruction from the faculty of the Peck School of the Arts. During this time, Ms. Buschkopf was also given the opportunity to work closely with the esteemed Arianna String Quartet. Ms. Buschkopf currently performs with the Riso Quartet and has served as a faculty member of the String Academy of Wisconsin and Alverno College. She currently teaches students through Latino Arts String Program and Wisconsin String Studio.

LIZBETH VALLEJO | viola instructor

Lizbeth Vallejo is a 2017 graduate of the Latino Arts Strings Program, where she started playing the viola fifteen years ago at the age of seven with Gretchen Riemenschneider and Dinorah Marquez. Throughout her musical career, she has studied at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, participating in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, State Honors Orchestra, as well as the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra. Today, she sits as section leader for the UWM Symphony Orchestra, and performs with her chamber group around the city.

Apart from her classical studies, Lizbeth performs regularly with Mariachi Monarcas de Milwaukee as a violinist and vocalist. Lizbeth’s love for mariachi began during her time as a student with the Latino Arts Strings Program almost twelve years ago. She has been able to share the stage with some of the world’s most famous mariachis, and it is one of her dreams to play mariachi music professionally. 

She currently studies viola performance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, working with Professor Claudia Lasareff-Mironoff and Dr. Bernard Zinck. Come Fall 2022, she will begin her Master’s Degree in String Pedagogy. Lizbeth loves teaching at the Latino Arts Strings Program. She always looked up to her teachers, and can only hope to continue passing along the gift of music for generations to come.


Born into a multicultural and musical family, Sara grew up in Calabria, Southern Italy. After discovering music at an early age, she started playing guitar when she was nine and obtained her degree in Classical Guitar Performance from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome. 

Sara is an active performing artist, composer and educator with musical influences that span many genres. Since 2015, Sara has led the musical project “Sara and Kenny” ( She has lived in Rome, Tallinn, Milwaukee, London, Berlin and now Chicago.

Several years back, Sara helped to establish the guitar studio and  curriculum for the Latino Arts Strings Program.  She moved away to follow her performing career. Upon returning to Chicago, she rejoined the LASP team as a part-time guitar instructor.